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Too much BP?

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Hello, I'm Sam, and I'm new to these parts. This is my first post.

Let me tell you my problem and then I'll give you a little background on my situation.

I started using the CSR three days ago. The first day was great, no problems. The second day was fine as well. It was during the night between day two and day three that the itching and irritation started. It was so bad that I couldn't sleep and was rolling around in agony.

I finally went in and rinsed and cleansed my face. It felt so good. I did not put anything else on after cleansing. Four hours later, my face still has a burning sensation and it still itches a bit but nothing like before. My face feels tight and it feels like I have a bad sunburn.

I understand that the itching is normal when just starting. But this is just nuts. I think I may have started out using too much BP. I began the system using a full finger twice a day.

I've used BP in the past and I'm sure I’m not allergic. I think I messed up by not starting small. I will start again using much smaller portions.

In the meantime, is there anything I can use or do about the burning and itching? Also, should I wait awhile before I start using the BP again?


Here is what I am using:

Cleanser: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

BP: Neutrogena On-the-Spot

Moisture: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion


Here is my back-story:

I am a 39-year-old male, who has suffered from acne since age 13. I still suffer from consistent outbreaks.

I've never tried to control it since my teens.

Recently I decided to try to do something about it. I did some research and decided that I would start out using the ProActiv system. Most of the reviews said that it works in the beginning, but then after some time everything goes wrong. I decided to use it, and then quickly abandon it when the first signs of trouble appear.

I started using Pro Activ about two and a half weeks ago. I noticed an immediate improvement after the very first application. It was great for two weeks. My face quickly cleared and had no new outbreaks. I can't remember when my face has been this smooth and soft. Still to this day I’ve had none of the outbreaks that I’ve grown accustomed to over the years.

After about two weeks of consistent use, I developed a small rash on my neck. I quickly abandoned the abrasive cleanser, and just used the lotion for a day until I got my supplies for CSR.

That's pretty much where I stand now. Thanks for listening, and I'd be very appreciative of any thoughts, suggestions or ideas.


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I would do it every other day if its real bad, it's normal to have redness, flaky and dry skin that itches. Your skin is just getting used to the BP, it may do this for 1-3 weeks, I went through the same thing.

Also to help this make sure you're using a moisturizer.

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How much BP did you use with Proactiv when it was working for you? Maybe reduce your application to that much & then slowly increase it. Also moisturize a lot.

I used Proactiv with some success initially in the past, but it irritated my skin in the end also & stopped working altogether (this seems to be the case with Proactiv for many; whereas with CSR, people seem to improve slowly but get more lasting results). I tried that product over & over & everytime it worked for a month or so & then quit.

I started out full force with BP on CSR too, but it didnt affect me to that degree. Being gentle & moisturizing are 2 key things. When you moisturize make sure to rub it in gently; it makes a difference how well it is absorbed & therefore how well it works! The moisturizer may burn & itch at first on your dry skin, but it does go away with time & soon there is no burning or itching. Some people here (me too) are mixing in some jojoba oil with their lotion & it helps with dryness/irritation.

After a few weeks on CSR some people incorporate a lotion with an AHA to exfoliate & battle dryness. No one seems to reccomend that right away however.

All of this stuff has worked pretty well for me. It took a few days for the really dry areas to be normal again.

Sorry I am long-winded; the short of it is, IMO, yes, you should probably reduce BP for now & build back up slowly. I wouldnt stop either, just reduce it.

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I would definitely scale back the bp amount and start all over after giving your skin a break for a couple days. My skin burned and itched for almost a whole month at first. I wanted to claw the skin right off my face sometimes, it was all I could think about for the first couple weeks. It will be this way, but just at first! Good luck!

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Hi Sam,

I think you hit the nail on the head about starting out with too much too soon. Skip the next application or two of BP. Just cleanse and moisturize. Then when your face feels more normal, you can start again but use only a small amount, like 1/4 finger for the first week, twice a day. Use plenty of moisturizer at night to help your skin adjust. If you don't care for the shine of the moisturizer you can use less during the day if your skin can get by with less, but do slather it on at night in the beginning to help your skin adjust to the bp easier.

Some itching and redness in the beginning is totally normal, but you don't want to let it get out of hand. So, take a little break from the BP, then when you feel ready to start again just start out much slower.

Good luck!

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This might help, it's how I started with the bp:

1st few days - 1/2 finger of bp at night only

Next few days - 1/2 finger AM and PM

Beginning of 2nd week - 1/2 finger AM and full finger PM

End of 2nd week - full finger AM and PM

I'm up to a full finger in the AM now, and 1 1/2 fingers PM!

This way was really easy on my skin; I didn't have redness and just a little flaking. Brandy's tip about moisturizing is great too. Let us know how it goes :)

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas.

In addition to using too much BP, I also figured out what went wrong that made last night so un-sleepable.

I got home late last night. I cleansed, rinsed, dried, and slathered on too much BP. Then, I said to myself, "self, I don't need to moisturize since i'm just going to bed." :doh:

Boy, have I got a lot to learn... :)

A couple of hours ago I put on and gently rubbed in a good amount of moisturizer. I feel much better. My face doesn't feel so tight and it doesn't itch too bad. I still feel like I have a sunburn as my cheeks are red and hot to the touch. I look like my usual self after getting slapped by the gf...

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I defiantly agree with Siouxcat on jojoba oil ( I have been using it before BP)

It helps a GREAT deal with drying- the bottle I have says it relieves sunburn-so, I'm assuming, that although you dont actually have a sunburn it would most likely help with waht you are experiencing

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Keep it up Sam. You might want to order Dan's BP. Maybe you are allergic to an ingredient in the Neutrogena. I would definitely try smaller amounts and ramp up from there. Hang in there b/c it does work. I still have some episodes of dryness although I am clearning up super! It seems to come and go. Keep us posted on your progress...

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Here's what I'm thinking now...

Before I resume using the Benzoil Peroxide I will wait until I start breaking out again. Perhaps, I don't really need it.

I've neglected my face and skin for years. My face was in bad shape until my first application of the Proactiv. That was the first time in over twenty years that i've applied anything specifically for skin care. My usual regime involved a harsh wash cloth and a bar of regular old bath soap.

I think my face really benefitted from the gritty exfoliating cleansing from the Proactiv cleanser. I cleared off all the old dead skin and gunk that's been there for so long.

Perhaps if I take better care of my face by using gentle facial cleansers and such, I might not see the break outs i've grown to love and expect. After all, I've not had a single pimple or blemish in over three weeks since that first application.

If I can control this without the use of chemicals, I would be a very happy man. I'm not as big a fan of Benzoil Peroxide as I was a couple of days ago.

Is this a bad idea...?

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Definetely try Dan's BP before making any last desicions. Its way, way, way cheaper than any other BP product and is alot more gentler. Infact, I probably could go without using a moisturizer except i use it to keep flakes at bay around my nose and near the edges of my lips and lower neck. (I have pretty oily skin). But believe me, just buy 2 bottles and try it - even just a little of it can be counted on to keep acne at bay

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Things are getting bad for me now and I don't know what to do.

I looked in the mirror about 30 minutes ago and my cheeks have gone to a new level of red. I discovered two small blisters; one next to my nose and the other upper right/center of my neck. The skin still feels very warm, but it feels like it has hardened. My skin feels leathery. It still itches and burns.

I think i've gone into something beyond simple irritation. Doing a quick internet search, I found a condition called "Contact Dermatitis". The symptoms I am experiencing strongly resemble the symptoms listed for it.

This picture looks a lot like what my cheeks look like. IPB Image

I think I will take a shower. Wash my face with my neutrgena bar to get any residual residue off my face. I'll go to bed and maybe use a cool moist covering to help the blistering. I'll try to sleep. But i'll be afaid to look in the mirror in the morning.

I guess I will have to break down and tell my girlfriend. Maybe after she stops laughing she might be able to help. At least I don't have to go into work until Thursday. But I do have a business lunch on Wednesday. :pray:

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If you are just red and itchy, it's irritation. If you have blisters and hives, you are allergic. The worst my skin ever looked was just like a really bad sunburn and that lasted a couple weeks. It's hard to know if you just did too much too fast or if you really are allergic. I would stop immediately and give my face a decent amount of time to recover, like maybe a month, and then start over, more slowly. My first time on CSR I introduced AHA too soon and my skin literally burned off in little tiny blisters. I waited 5 months before attempting CSR again and I am having much better success this time as I am going much slower.

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I've been lurking around the boards for the last week after Googling "acne medication" and coming upon this site. My teenage son has been suffering with what looks like "moderate" acne (although it's pretty severe) for a while now, but definitely for many months. Early in the summer I bought the 3-step package of AcneFree from Costco and he has had a little, but not really much, success. When that ran out, I bought another set. I recently made an appointment with a dermatologist, but I'm thinking of canceling it.

I told him about your site and showed him the video regimen which I think he's trying to follow. For several days he's been using Visible Difference moisturizer from Elizabeth Arden which I think is good stuff. I don't know how much he's applying but I get the impression he thinks using moisturizer is a sissy thing to do.

Last night and this morning he used Neutrogena On the Spot and we are awaiting Dan's BP. This morning his face was pretty red (sunburned), but he's not complaining of itching (and I'm not asking). Since he's been using the AcneFree, I figure his face is somewhat use to the 2.5 BP. I hate that things might get worse before they get better and I'm just hoping that my son will be the exception rather than the rule.

Although it's my nature to hound, I really want to back off focusing on his acne program and simply give him the tools and see what happens. This is kind of agonizing, though.

Sam, thanks for your post. I hope you find what works...

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